Odds and Ends: Three drivers for Bombardier; PW GTF gains momentum

1. JP Morgan looks at Bombardier

Aerospace analyst Joe Nadol has an interesting take on Bombardier and the next 12 months. Nadol begins with, “We believe Bombardier may be better positioned now than at any time in the 10+ years we’ve followed the stock,” and continues:

*  Three Important BBD Drivers: 1) CSeries, 2) CSeries, 3) CSeries. With the business jet and train businesses both poised for solid earnings growth, the CSeries is now clearly set as the key likely driver of the stock. There are two primary issues here. The first is demand, and we believe the program needs to start racking up more orders this year, even by the Paris Air Show in June. We believe there is a high level of interest, and we are fairly confident Bombardier will sell more aircraft. The partnership with Comac that Bombardier announced last week seems to foreshadow meaningful Chinese orders. Bombardier also has nearly $12 bil in financing for CSeries aircraft available from Chinese sources. The second issue is execution. Management noted that Bombardier still expects to fly the aircraft next year and also highlighted some recently achieved milestones for the engine. However, Flight reported in recent weeks that the date for first flight may have slipped by a few months into next fall, so the program does appear to be experiencing at least the normal level of fits and starts. Thus far, the CSeries appears on track overall, but execution obviously remains a major overhang given the complexity of the program and the well-known problems the industry has had meeting cost and schedule targets in recent years.

2. Pratt & Whitney gains momentum

Last week’s announcement of Indigo Airlines selecting the PW P1000G Geared Turbo Fan for its 150 Airbus A320neo order follows on the heels of the ILFC order for the GTF for 60 A320neos.

Next up is Lufthansa, whose order could come as early as today. We believe PW is likely to get this one, too. If our hints are correct, the line-up then is:

Pratt & Whitney

  • Mitsubishi MRJ
  • Bombardier CSeries
  • Irkut MS-21
  • A320neo: ILFC, Indigo and Lufthansa

CFM International

  • COMAC C919
  • A320neo: offered but no orders yet

While Indigo’s A320 fleet is powered by International Aero Engines, perhaps giving PW an advantage in winning this order, CFM competed for the deal hard. The ILFC deal was a major, if partial, victory; PW won orders for 60 of the 100 A320s/321s ordered and ILFC continues discussions for the remaining 40. We would expect a lessor to split the engine order in the end.

Lufthansa will be a significant win, whether it be for PW (as our information suggests) or for CFM. Lufthansa uses CFM engines for its A320 fleet and IAE for the A321s. Lufthansa also ordered the Bombardier CSeries, equipped with the GTF.

From our information, the contest appears to be coming down to which company is offering the most aggressive maintenance support package. The GTF has a fuel burn advantage of 2%-4%, according to people who have seen the numbers of both companies. Price, maintenance and after-market support therefore will be the determining factors.

Update: It’s official: Lufthansa selected PW GTF. Here is the link to the press release.

3. Name that Tanker

In a previous post, we offered readers the chance to name the KC-46A tanker. Below are the names submitted. Vote for your choice.

4. Southwest’s 737 decompression

The NTSB yesterday said the 737-300 involved in Friday’s decompression at 35,000 had pre-existing fatigue cracks. KMBC.com reports that the area in which the skin split had been repaired about a year ago.

The LA Times has this story with new information as of Sunday night.

5. Air France 447 found

Airbus announced yesterday the wreckage of Air France Flight 447 has been found. We hope the flight data and voice recorders can be found. Although it’s been more than 18 months since these have been underwater, previous accidents with long submersions have derived useful data from the records.

On the assumption that investigations will now be able to definitively identify the cause of the accident–they already have a pretty good idea and there was a television special that did a good job of reporting on this–perhaps the irresponsible bloggers and commenters who have engaged in their cheap shots will understand the facts.

The Wall Street Journal posted this update.

12 Comments on “Odds and Ends: Three drivers for Bombardier; PW GTF gains momentum

  1. The real significance of the Comac-Bombardier tie up, in my view, is for Comac. As long as it was a nationalistic prestige project I didn’t see them going anywhere against Airbus and Boeing. The aerospace trend is for multi-agency risk sharing. Through Bombardier, Comac get access to expertise that they lack in marketing airplanes and operational support, as well as primary integration of suppliers. With the technical competence that they already have at the secondary level and oodles of cash, this deal will be transformative for them, I believe.

  2. It is good that AF-447 has finally been found, or at least the major parts of the wreckage. If, and that is a big if, the DFDR and DCVR are found in this portion of found wreckage, and recovered, and still contain useful data we may find out the real reasons for the crash.

    Hopefully the debris field will point out additional wreckage due to the major direction of the wreckage. My guess is it is well scattered over a large area.

    Why hasn’t the news release discribed the underwater tarrain and the approximate depth the wreckage was found at.

  3. IMO, Comac-Bombardier would have a formidable narrowbody line-up if they would go go for a full Airbus-type cockpit commonality for the C-series and the 919-series.

  4. Bombardier entered into a deal with Avic on ARJ back in 2007. I’ve heard very little about that relationship since then, and I’d say the best way to view the new deal with the Chinese is that Bombardier is trading financing for some technical advice. Building aircraft with a common cockpit or building a venture to handle joint marketing/service is a way bigger step.

    • Sure, a common cockpit is a bigger step, but considering the C919 is in the preliminary design phase, it’s far from too late to incorporate a full cockpit commonality on the two platforms. For example, both the C-series and the C919 are to be equipped with side-sticks and Comac could let Bombardier design and/or manufacture the cockpit section of the C919. If implemented, Comac-Bombardier could thus privide a true family of NB aircraft with WBs to come. 😉

    • Additionally, Hess is encouraged by the newly formed partnership between Bombardier and Comac, potentially opening the door to offering the PW1000G on the C919 as it seeks to develop further commonality with Bombardier’s CSeries, also powered by a variant of the geared turbofan.

      The PW1524G, set to fly on Bombardier’s CS100 in 2012 is currently in ground testing at P&W’s West Palm Beach, Florida and Manitoba, Canada test facilities.

      “We’re not privy to the conversations between Comac and Bombardier, but clearly there could be opportunity for collaboration on all the platforms,” says Hess. “I think it’s a great idea, I think it will certainly give Bombardier access to the Chinese marketplace, and maybe some Chinese capital, and vice versa it will give the Chinese access to Bombardier’s great technical and development capabilities.

      http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2011/04/04/355138/pw-pushes-pw1000g-as-c919-second-engine.html

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